Recent News

Note From The Commissioner: An Ecosystem of Optimism and Hope

On Wednesday, I joined Open Society Institute (OSI)-Baltimore to celebrate their 20th anniversary celebration.

Leana Wen

House approves opioid bills, but not the one Baltimore health commissioner says 'we desperately need' (Baltimore Sun)

The House of Representatives, considering a legislative package to combat the opiod epidemic, won’t vote on the bill that Baltimore’s health commissioner says is “what we on the frontlines desperately need.”

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioids

Baltimore health chief Wen wants to close the life expectancy gap between poor and wealthy areas (Baltimore Business Journal)

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen uses an example to highlight some of the challenges causing a wide health disparities gap between the city's richer, white neighborhoods and poorer, black neighborhoods.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wen

Major opioids legislation is taking shape. Can it make a dent in a national epidemic? (STAT)

By the end of next week, the House will have considered more than 50 bills aimed at staunching the opioid crisis. The volume “may well be a record for legislating on a single issue,” Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Tuesday on the House floor.

Leana Wen, Baltimore’s public health commissioner and a staunch advocate for expanding access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, released a statement encouraging Congress to consider a bill introduced by two Democrats, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.).

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioids

Amazon expands Whole Foods delivery to Baltimore (Technically Baltimore)

Amazon is entering the grocery delivery space in Baltimore. Through its Prime Now service, the ecommerce giant is offering delivery of groceries within two hours from Whole Foods, which it purchased last year. While Baltimore’s health department introduced online ordering and delivery to areas that lack fresh food options through its Virtual Supermarket program in 2014, the area’s grocery delivery offerings are getting some big players this year. Target introduced same-day delivery in March.

Read the entire story.

Judges rule against HHS for unlawfully ending teen pregnancy prevention grants, but shift to abstinence still underway (Pump Handle)

Earlier this month, another judge rebuked the Trump administration’s attempts to terminate teen pregnancy prevention grants, ruling the decision unlawful and

Leana Wen

One easy, cost-free thing Trump can do to ease the opioid crisis (Washington Post)

In their op-ed, Dr. Wen and Public Citizen President Robert Weissman request the federal government take action and use their authority to reduce prices for the lifesaving drug naloxone.

"They can choose to lower prices and save lives. Or they can choose to perpetuate the rationing of lifesaving treatments and avoid offending Big Pharma at the cost of letting people across the country die for lack of access to affordable, easy-to-use naloxone delivery devices. We should not be priced out of the ability to save lives."

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioidsnaloxone

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Urges Congress to Support CARE Act and Adopt “Ryan White for the Opioid Epidemic”

Congress is slated to vote on various bills aimed at fighting the opioid epidemic this week. Dr. Leana Wen issued the following statement about what is needed on the frontlines:

“As Congress reviews dozens of bills focused on combatting the opioid epidemic, I ask them to remember this: We know what works. We don’t have a shortage of ideas. We have a shortage of resources."

Leana Wenopioids

Maryland is in an opioid addiction crisis; here's what the Democratic candidates for governor would do about it (Baltimore Sun)

Shortly after he was elected, Gov. Larry Hogan convened a high-level task force to address opioid addiction and overdoses in Maryland, and he eventually declared a state of emergency because of the problem. Yet the toll addiction has taken on communities across the state — urban, rural and suburban — remains unabated. The number of overdose deaths in the first three months of 2017 — the most recent data available — is more than double that from the same period in 2014, the year before Mr. Hogan took office. This isn’t just a Maryland problem, of course; addiction and overdoses have skyrocketed nationwide. But the fact remains that what we’re doing about the problem isn’t enough.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioids

Note From The Commissioner: The Power of Safe Streets

As an emergency physician, I have seen the human cost of gun violence.

Pages